September 25, 2016

Apples Versus Oranges

We all know other businesses who offer us examples of how to operate successfully. We have our networking partners who provide us advice and support when we need it. We also can attend seminars or webinars on the steps to take to improve our businesses and lead us to greater success. There is a world of books, articles, and other reference material which can teach us what we are doing wrong and what we should do to correct our errors.

With all these sources of information that should enable us to move our businesses to better numbers of sales and success, we must learn to how to utilize that information. If we attend a seminar on business, we must actually attempt to apply the methods learned. The same may be said when we read books or receive advice from our networking partners. All the information is useless until we apply it.

However, there is another pitfall which we must avoid above doing nothing with what we have learned. We must apply the correct information to our business. Does the data that we have actually apply to our business, its employees, or its customers? We must avoid the “apples versus oranges” trap. Is the advice from someone who is a realtor the best plan for us? Is the example of operating a hamburger shop the best model for a direct selling business? We must apply the argument of “apples versus oranges”.

There are some basics of marketing that apply to all businesses. Be professional in operating a business; do not operate a business like a hobby. No one will take us seriously unless we do so ourselves. Be passionate about a business and be a product of our product. If we do not believe in what we offer, how can anyone else? Be personal and treat everyone else, whether they are prospects, customers, clients, employees, or networking partners, as human beings and with courtesy and gratitude for whatever they do for us and others.

An on-line based business may, or may not, need guidance for leasing office space. A floral shop may be able to learn from a hamburger shop, but they might not need guidance on overnight retail operations. The same employees required for a sheet metal manufacturer might not the same as when we need to hire an in-house legal team. However, there may be some general guidelines that we may learn from hearing and seeing them in operation or just hearing about them.

We must be able to discern what information may be able to help us make our businesses better and which will not. It will amaze the onlooker what we can gleam from someone else who isn’t in the same industry as we are, and what we can emulate which may give us greater success. Showing gratitude for our employees should provide us their loyalty and their continued higher work ethic, just as it should affect our customers and networking partners.

Gratitude Marketing has a never ending list of results that can assist us in improving our businesses. It can be applied to everyone whom we reach every day of our lives. It is not something that we “turn on” on special occasions but is a lifestyle that is useful in both our business and personal lives. If we give it a chance, it can make us much better people with whom to associate and do business, and that makes everyone’s life better. If we try some of that Gratitude Marketing, we will discover that we like it. Please leave me your comments, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.

Apples Versus Oranges

We all know other businesses who offer us examples of how to operate successfully. We have our networking partners who provide us advice and support when we need it. We also can attend seminars or webinars on the steps to take to improve our businesses and lead us to greater success. There is a world of books, articles, and other reference material which can teach us what we are doing wrong and what we should do to correct our errors.

With all these sources of information that should enable us to move our businesses to better numbers of sales and success, we must learn to how to utilize that information. If we attend a seminar on business, we must actually attempt to apply the methods learned. The same may be said when we read books or receive advice from our networking partners. All the information is useless until we apply it.

However, there is another pitfall which we must avoid above doing nothing with what we have learned. We must apply the correct information to our business. Does the data that we have actually apply to our business, its employees, or its customers? We must avoid the “apples versus oranges” trap. Is the advice from someone who is a realtor the best plan for us? Is the example of operating a hamburger shop the best model for a direct selling business? We must apply the argument of “apples versus oranges”.

There are some basics of marketing that apply to all businesses. Be professional in operating a business; do not operate a business like a hobby. No one will take us seriously unless we do so ourselves. Be passionate about a business and be a product of our product. If we do not believe in what we offer, how can anyone else? Be personal and treat everyone else, whether they are prospects, customers, clients, employees, or networking partners, as human beings and with courtesy and gratitude for whatever they do for us and others.

An on-line based business may, or may not, need guidance for leasing office space. A floral shop may be able to learn from a hamburger shop, but they might not need guidance on overnight retail operations. The same employees required for a sheet metal manufacturer might not the same as when we need to hire an in-house legal team. However, there may be some general guidelines that we may learn from hearing and seeing them in operation or just hearing about them.

We must be able to discern what information may be able to help us make our businesses better and which will not. It will amaze the onlooker what we can gleam from someone else who isn’t in the same industry as we are, and what we can emulate which may give us greater success. Showing gratitude for our employees should provide us their loyalty and their continued higher work ethic, just as it should affect our customers and networking partners.

Gratitude Marketing has a never ending list of results that can assist us in improving our businesses. It can be applied to everyone whom we reach every day of our lives. It is not something that we “turn on” on special occasions but is a lifestyle that is useful in both our business and personal lives. If we give it a chance, it can make us much better people with whom to associate and do business, and that makes everyone’s life better. If we try some of that Gratitude Marketing, we will discover that we like it. Please leave me your comments, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.

September 18, 2016

Keep It Up

So we listened to the experts and started going to networking meetings. There we met lots of other business people who were seeking to build relationships with other attendees. All of us have learned that referrals are the lifeblood of the business success and that these networking partners will also give us advice and suggestions which will prove valuable to our business marketing.

We followed the advice that we should schedule meetings with these networkers and get to know them. We also did not try to sell them what we have but worked to discover what these other people needed or wanted. Then we attempted to help them attain whatever that was or introduced them to others who might know someone else who could help them.

It was a great plan that we developed, and it brought us very productive karma with lots of business success. We took what others have taught us, applied all the steps, and developed relationships which have brought us great results.

Then we stopped going to networking events, stopped meeting with the people whom we met there, and stopped building the relationships which we needed. To make it worse, we did not maintain the relationships which we had already built. We broke off all contact with anyone who was not a prospect, who we believed we could sell our products or services.

Did we think that this garden of success would just maintain itself? Did we really believe that the effort that we put into developing these contacts and relationships was a one-time effort? Did we misunderstand that all these people would remember us if we forgot them? We ourselves would think that we had been taken for granted if we didn’t hear from someone for a period of time, especially when we had developed a relationship which seemed to benefit both parties.

How many fair weather friends have we known in our lives? How could we expect others to not believe that we were just that type of networking partner when we act like we don’t have the time or an interest to keep a networking relationship moving forward to even more success? We fall into this fair weather category when we stop maintaining our relationships and stop helping others.

If we attend a seminar and never try to apply whatever we learn there, we have wasted our time and the money that we paid for the seminar. If we receive a referral from one of our networking partners, and never follow-up on the information, we have wasted the referral and maybe damaged the relationship with the referring partner. Allowing our work that we have spent developing networking relationships to be wasted is just as wrong, just as stupid. We have to keep maintaining the garden and reaping the results.

Gratitude Marketing is a great philosophy for the success of any business. We can reap great success from applying it to our prospects, customers, clients, and former ones. We also can reap great success from the application of Gratitude Marketing with our networking partners and keeping those relationships strong and viable. We must never waste the work that we have spent establishing networking relationships with laziness or smug inaction. Please leave me your comments, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.

September 11, 2016

Feedback

“Feedback is the breakfast of champions.” - Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson. 

Every business person should welcome feedback from their prospects, customers, clients, employees, networking partners, and everyone else who know. This would include everyone in their world, even casual meetings, but especially former customers. I have always said that I have learned something from every meeting that I have attended and every time that I have met with anyone one-on-one.

Feedback may take many formats. It can be direct, the results of a survey, answers to direct questions, or advice from networking partners. Feedback may be positive or negative. It may be welcomed, or it may be feared. It can be truthful, or it can be an attempt to sabotage our business future. The provider of feedback could be a trusted friend or our enemy. It is our job to discern the truth and the intent of the provider of the feedback.

Our clients, and our networking partners, should have our best interests at heart when providing us feedback. Our prospects may just be trying to tell us that they are not interested in what we have to offer or may not understand what we can provide for them. Customers, unlike clients, may just want an excuse to stop buying from us. Former customers may provide very interesting feedback that can be very important to our continued success.

We should always want to know why someone stopped doing business with us. Was there something that they believed that we should have done that we do not do? Was there something that we did that they believed that we should not have done? What did they believe that our product or service would provide to them that it did not? Did they just not need what we offered, or did they reach a point where it did not work for them? Bottom line, why did they end their relationship as a customer with us?

We may not want to hear the opinions from former customers, but we should consider their information and see if it means that we erred somewhere in our operation. We should take their words as information, analyze it, and determine if we need to change something, anything about our business. If so make the change; if not, don’t change anything. That decision can bring us success or mean that we will lose other customers.

Our friends and the general acquaintances that we meet may have several intentions for their feedback. They may have our best interests in their minds, but they may not be our best friends when they offer advice. “You will never succeed at that venture”. “No one makes a success of that”. We have all heard those naysayers at some point. It is up to us to take their “advice” and determine if it is valuable or not. Is any part of what they say relevant or even true, or are they just trying to keep us at their level of life?

Gratitude Marketing might prevent us from losing customers or make us gain new ones. Given the right level of relationship with everyone that we meet, do business with, or add to our world of networking partners, we should be able to obtain feedback that will assist us in building our business success. Our ability to obtain feedback must be abetted by our ability to analyze it and use what we learn. Don’t be surprised if your Gratitude Marketing brings you praise and feedback and results in strengthening your belief in it. Please leave me your comments, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.

Feedback

“Feedback is the breakfast of champions.” - Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson

Every business person should welcome feedback from their prospects, customers, clients, employees, networking partners, and everyone else who know. This would include everyone in their world, even casual meetings, but especially former customers. I have always said that I have learned something from every meeting that I have attended and every time that I have met with anyone one-on-one.

Feedback may take many formats. It can be direct, the results of a survey, answers to direct questions, or advice from networking partners. Feedback may be positive or negative. It may be welcomed, or it may be feared. It can be truthful, or it can be an attempt to sabotage our business future. The provider of feedback could be a trusted friend or our enemy. It is our job to discern the truth and the intent of the provider of the feedback.

Our clients, and our networking partners, should have our best interests at heart when providing us feedback. Our prospects may just be trying to tell us that they are not interested in what we have to offer or may not understand what we can provide for them. Customers, unlike clients, may just want an excuse to stop buying from us. Former customers may provide very interesting feedback that can be very important to our continued success.

We should always want to know why someone stopped doing business with us. Was there something that they believed that we should have done that we do not do? Was there something that we did that they believed that we should not have done? What did they believe that our product or service would provide to them that it did not? Did they just not need what we offered, or did they reach a point where it did not work for them? Bottom line, why did they end their relationship as a customer with us?

We may not want to hear the opinions from former customers, but we should consider their information and see if it means that we erred somewhere in our operation. We should take their words as information, analyze it, and determine if we need to change something, anything about our business. If so make the change; if not, don’t change anything. That decision can bring us success or mean that we will lose other customers.

Our friends and the general acquaintances that we meet may have several intentions for their feedback. They may have our best interests in their minds, but they may not be our best friends when they offer advice. “You will never succeed at that venture”. “No one makes a success of that”. We have all heard those naysayers at some point. It is up to us to take their “advice” and determine if it is valuable or not. Is any part of what they say relevant or even true, or are they just trying to keep us at their level of life?

Gratitude Marketing might prevent us from losing customers or make us gain new ones. Given the right level of relationship with everyone that we meet, do business with, or add to our world of networking partners, we should be able to obtain feedback that will assist us in building our business success. Our ability to obtain feedback must be abetted by our ability to analyze it and use what we learn. Don’t be surprised if your Gratitude Marketing brings you praise and feedback and results in strengthening your belief in it. Please leave me your comments, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.

September 4, 2016

Customer Service

While sitting at breakfast recently I began a conversation with another patron of the restaurant, and we shared information about our work and lives. It was so refreshing to hear his stories that reinforce my beliefs about customer service and follow-up. It does not matter who we meet or chat with, we can find other people who share our beliefs about businesses, and how they should operate.

This particular person told me that he formerly lived in the area and returned recently after moving away for several years. Before he moved he had favorite restaurants, one of which was where we were eating, and other preferred businesses. He told me that he had that morning driven 30 miles round trip to a shop for a haircut. That action defines customer loyalty to a business.

Why would he drive that far for a haircut? The business is the same one he patronized before he moved away and returned. He really liked the proprietor’s haircuts, but more so, he loved the customer service that he received, over and above the haircut. He loved the way that the business made him feel when he went there. He loved the buying experience.

The television show Cheers showed us a neighborhood bar which valued its customers. They made people glad that they came into the bar and made them feel at home. We all want to go where they make us feel comfortable and where we can enjoy ourselves. We may even like that people remember our names. Who wants to be known as Account #12345 when we can be referred to as “Norm”?

The person who was sharing stories with me over breakfast was impressed by the fact that the barber remembered his name, how he wanted his hair cut, and welcomed him, even after he had been gone for years. The fact that they were appreciative of his business, showed gratitude for his coming into their shop, and made him enjoy the experience overshadowed the distance that he had to travel to obtain service.

While we were discussing the great customer service that he received, he told me that he worked for a software vendor who had him scheduled to be on call the rest of the day in case a specific client needed assistance with their operation. This was a Saturday, not your normal work day. While he would have preferred to not be working later that day, he also understood that customer service dictated that someone needed to be available if needed. Offshore customer service was not good enough for his firm.

We all dislike receiving mail addressed to “Occupant”, “Resident”, or “Our friends at” followed by our address. (If you are my “friend”, you know my name.) Maybe we should all take a page from our own preferences; maybe we should just use some common sense and stress customer service in our businesses. If we make our buying experience pleasurable and enjoyable for our customers, they will stay loyal to us. Even better, they will tell others how great we are, and they will send clients to us.

Maybe we all should review our operations and see if Gratitude Marketing might make a difference to our customers. Maybe we can get someone to travel out of their comfort zone physically to obtain what we offer. Maybe we can get someone to rave about what we do, and how we do it, to total strangers. Wouldn’t that be great marketing for any business? Please leave me your comments, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.